KUALA LUMPUR, July 9 — The national track cycling squad are taking a cautious approach in their training programmes to ensure the riders peak for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
National track cycling ace Mohd Azizulhasni Awang said the national riders were now participating in a series of Grand Prix (GP) and Class 1 races in Europe for warm-up and to test their racing tactics.
In addition, he said, participation in the races would also help them collect qualification points for the 2019 World Cup series scheduled for November.
“There is no problem to get into the World Cup (series). The points collected are okay and we just need to maintain it. The main reason for joining these Grand Prix and Class 1 races is to maintain the points and using the races as our training ground. God willing, there are two or three more GP or Class 1 races which we will participate in before the start of the World Cup.
“We are on the right track now. At the moment, we are still trying to strengthen the foundation before focusing on any specific training.
“The main mission is to peak at the Tokyo Olympics. So, we have to be careful with the training programmes and plans,” he told Bernama.
After a disappointing outing at the Grand Prix von Deutschland 2019 in Germany, the national track cycling squad were outstanding at the Dublin International Track Tournament in Ireland recently, winning one silver through Mohd Azizulhasni and a bronze through Muhammad Shah Firdaus Sahrom.
Mohd Azizulhasni, nicknamed “The Pocket Rocketman”, lost to Olympic gold medallist Jason Kenny of Great Britain in the men’s sprint event to claim the silver while Muhammad Shah Firdaus finished third in the men’s keirin.
Another national rider, Muhammad Fadhil Mohd Zonis, was ranked 10th in the keirin event and 13th in the sprint event, while Anis Amira Rosidi failed to shine, finishing fifth in the women’s keirin and seventh in the sprint event in 12.319 seconds.
The national squad are expected to participate in a series of Class 1 races in Europe before returning to Malaysia for the Southeast Asian Grand Prix Championship (Aug 22-23) and the National Track Tournament (Aug 25-26) at the National Velodrome in Nilai before competing at the Beijing Grand Prix (Aug 30-31).
Their toughest assignment would be the 2019/2020 World Cup series and the Asian Track Championship next year. — Bernama